I absolutely loved this book, it was a huge leap ahead of the author's Grisha Trilogy, set in the same universe with completely new characters and a n..Show More »ew and gripping story. The multiple narrators really brought it to life. I would definitely recommend this audio book.
In Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo introduces us to the Ocean's Eleven of the fantasy world. The only difference is they are brimming with more character ..Show More »and oozing more cool than George Clooney and his pals ever could. There's also magic. Danny Ocean couldn't do that. Crooked Kingdom takes an already rich cast and focuses on adding to their depth rather than their number. This was a pleasant surprise, as many authors tend to dump extra characters into the reader/listener's lap and hope it makes us feel all happy about what we've been given. Not here. Here we are given a truly deeper feeling of every character. We knew them before in Six of Crows, but now we are given an almost intimate connection with each one in Crooked Kingdom. And it felt good. Better than good.
The story, as with Six of Crows was a complex plan hidden within another complex plan buried deep within the twistedly brilliant depths of Kaz Brekker's mind. He really is one of those characters that you can't help but love but also can't help but thank your lucky stars he isn't a real person. He's equal parts bad ass and just bad all at once. But he's just the right mix that you can't help but wonder why you can't stop yourself from loving him.
For me, I felt Crooked Kingdom played upon a range of emotions, more so than Six of Crows. There is one scene in particular that I did not expect to happen but DAMN, if it didn't hit me where I didn't want to be hit!
As with the vast majority of my seemingly praise-gushing reviews, this one will not be all niceties. There is one crime against my ears that I just cannot keep hidden. I rarely use the word 'hate' but in this instance, and the instance of Six of Crows, I genuinely hate the voice used as the main narrator for Kaz Brekker's bits. His voice is so bad, so gravelly, so 'I've been smoking for fifty years and swallowing glass for another ten' that I just hated it when Kaz's bits came on. Honestly, his voice is so grating on the ear that I, an author myself, struggle to put into words how unsuitable it was for ANY character to have that as their actual voice. I couldn't take it seriously. That fact was upsetting due to Kaz being one of my favourites. The rest of the vocals were on point and, dare I say, perfect. Matthias is very well-done, gives you the image of a strong man attached to the voice. Nina's makes you think of a sexy young girl who knows exactly how to get what she wants. Jesper sounds effortlessly cool and cocky. Kaz just sounds ... wrong.
But enough about my Kaz-voice hating. We can't all be happy 100% of the time so I will be content with the 99% of the time in this book. I am sure there are some (admittedly odd people) who thought Kaz's voice was just ... lovely.
Another good point about Crooked Kingdom is that Leigh brings back a few characters from her previous trilogy (Grisha Trilogy), so fans of that series will get that little happy moment when reading about characters they remember fondly.
All in all, I am very glad to have listened to the Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom duology. Kaz Brekker's band of thieves have made for excellent literary companions and I hope they make appearances in future books from Bardugo.